Incidental Acts of Spontaneous Cerebral Violence

Friday, August 20, 2004

The Man In White Returns

The New York Times excerpts Tom Wolfe's new novel, "I Am Charlotte Simmons" this Sunday.

From Amazon's official description: "Dupont University--the Olympian halls of learning housing the cream of America's youth, the roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition . . . Or so it appears to beautiful, brilliant Charlotte Simmons, a sheltered freshman from North Carolina. But Charlotte soon learns, to her mounting dismay, that for the uppercrust coeds of Dupont, sex, Cool, and kegs trump academic achievement every time."

In this excerpt, Charlotte writes a letter to her parents:
"Generally I sleep very well. The only problem is that Beverly goes to bed really late" -- starts to write 3, 4, even 5 a.m., instead writes -- "2 a.m. sometimes, and it wakes me up when she comes in."

She slumped back in the chair once more and stared out the window a few light-years into the darkness. This, she figured, was it. Right here was the point where she either cried out or she didn't cry out. Momma, only you can help me! Who else do I have! Listen to me! Let me tell you the truth! Beverly doesn't just return in the dead of the night and "go to bed really late"! She brings boys into bed -- and they rut-rut-rut do it -- barely four feet from my bed! She leads a wanton sex life! The whole place does! Girls sexile each other! Rich girls with fifteen hundred SAT's cry out, "I need some [sexual activity]!" "I'm gonna go out and get [it]!" The girls, Momma, the girls, Dupont girls, right in front of you! Momma -- what am I to do . . .

But she stiffened and swallowed it all. Just one little mention of . . . sex . . . and Momma the Wrath of God would head east in the pickup, and haul her back to Sparta, and the whole county would hum like a hive: "Charlotte Simmons has dropped out of Dupont. Poor thing thinks it's immoral there."
Based upon this excerpt and, particularly, the one in Rolling Stone, I think Tom may be missing his drinking/drugging/fucking Merry Prankster days just a bit too much.

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